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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What is BHIM App? Android Payments App in India for Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

The Bharat Interface for Money (Bhim) app was launched on 30 December by PM, India.The app is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and uses Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for the transactions. The app is very simple to use, has a clean interface and incorporates multiple security features. Industry stakeholders have called the app a gamechanger when it comes to the ease of making cashless payments in India. However, the application faced extremely high server loads on launch day.

As explained on the Google Android Playstore, BHIM is an initiative to enable fast, secure, reliable cashless payments through your mobile phone. BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications, and bank accounts. BHIM is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). BHIM is made in India and dedicated to the service of the nation.

How does it work - BHIM usage guide:

Register your bank account with BHIM, and set a UPI PIN for the bank account. Your mobile number is your payment address (PA), and you can simply start transacting. Yes! It is that simple.

Send / Receive Money: Send money to or receive money from friends, family and customers through a mobile number or payment address. Money can also be sent to non UPI supported banks using IFSC and MMID. You can also collect money by sending a request and reverse payments if required.

Check Balance: You can check your bank balance and transactions details on the go.

Custom Payment Address: You can create a custom payment address in addition to your phone number.

QR Code: You can scan a QR code for faster entry of payment addresses. Merchants can easily print their QR Code for display.

Transaction Limits: Maximum of Rs. 10,000 per transaction and Rs. 20,000 within 24 hours.

Which Banks support BHIM App?
What all Banks support are inter-operable with UPI?

Supported Banks are listed as follows. This information is sourced from the App description itself:
- Allahabad Bank
- Andhra Bank
- Axis Bank
- Bank of Baroda
- Bank of Maharashtra
- Canara Bank
- Catholic Syrian Bank
- Central Bank of India
- DCB Bank
- Dena Bank
- Federal Bank
- HDFC Bank
- ICICI Bank
- IDBI Bank
- IDFC Bank
- Indian Bank
- Indian Overseas Bank
- IndusInd Bank
- Karnataka Bank
- Karur Vysya Bank
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
- Oriental Bank of Commerce
- Punjab National Bank
- RBL Bank
- South Indian Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
- State Bank of India
- Syndicate Bank
- Union Bank of India
- United Bank of India
- Vijaya Bank

Features lacking in BHIM App and other Security Concerns with BHIM App:

Presently, Languages supported are Hindi and English. More languages have to come soon to support regional languages of India. Also, there are many initial pain-points in the App that are listed as following:

We should revisit the transaction Limits: (Presently it is Maximum of Rs. 10,000 per transaction and Rs. 20,000 within 24 hours.)

Some have reported that the App is only useful if you have a debit card The app has good intentions and i appreciate it. To register an account under upi, the app forces one to enter partial details of the debit card details. I consider this as a requirement gap.

Some say that it is waste of time and stucks or hangs at many places

Security concerns are there. Undoubtedly, it needs PCI clearance and has to scale good on OWASP threat scales. Presently, there is no clear documentation describing these fine details. IT savvy folks are presently not joining the BHIM revolution.

As a conclusion, I would say that it is a good start. More focus should be given on security. And, also since the App is majorly controlled by government officials, proper business continuity plans and threat mitigation units shall be setup. For a proper success, we should be good on security scales as we are not so strong on the corruption index ;)

All in all, Congratulations for the Banks and NPCI to come up with this App. For easier and seamless Payments systems and a boost in digital market, initiatives like these shall be the corner stones. Lets wish the App and initiative the best of luck. May we prosper. May we excel.

Cheers :)

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